Hi friends, this is Brent Riggs, guest blogging for Adam and Aimee today. They didn’t ask me too, I begged them to let me.
First, I know many of you know me and know that Adam and I are good friends, but a lot of you have no clue who I am. Because of what I’m writing today, it is prudent to give you a quick “who is this guy?” My wife and I have a blog at www.riggsfamilyblog.com. We have seven children, three are internationally adopted, two from Guatemala, one from Ethiopia. Our four year old from Guatemala, Abby, has Leukemia, and four times in the past year we spent days at a time unsure if she would survive. So we know a little bit about how Adam and Aimee are feeling, and what they are going through (actually we know a LOT about it).
Adam and I have become good friends over the months. I’ve been honored and blessed to have him stay in our home, and to be able to offer spiritual encouragement and advice. You’ll find my ministry site at http://www.seriousfaith.com/ and my professional site at http://www.brentriggs.com/. We also featured Kayleigh’s story in our magazine called “Serious.Life” in a story called “One Pound Miracle” (http://www.seriouslifemagazine.com/default.asp?issue=9). That issue received over one million page views.
So what? Did I get on Adam’s blog to promote myself. Nope. I just wanted to establish some credibility and background with you before I began to talk about what I really wanted to say today. One last thing, I want to make it abundantly clear that I CALLED the Freeman’s and asked to be able to speak to you on their blog. They were immediately hesitant and it took a couple of conversations for me to convince them. They are already overwhelmed and infinitely grateful for all the help and prayers that you have provided up to this point. The fact remains for them as they wake up each day, they need help, a lot more than they would ever publicly say.
Let’s recap for the newer readers:
You remember that little mortgage crisis last year? It was “in the news” for a while but it continues to devastate the lives of those who were unsuspectingly caught up in the disaster caused by politicians. The Freeman’s had a thriving real estate business, one that was blessing others, providing for family members and helping the community. The real estate crash disintegrated their entire business and income at the same time they began the long journey of relentless medical crisis with Kayleigh who was born three months premature and has been on a life crisis roller coaster from day one.
The bills skyrocketed, the business plummeted. So along with the emotional strain that comes with the daily battle of wondering if your child will be alive tomorrow, they have also endured the stress of mounting bills, threatened foreclosure and repossession, bill collectors, medical expenses, and all the expenses involved in the constant travel and dislocation at the hospital… this type of situation causes all expenses to rise, new expenses to occur. All the while, their income simply disappeared. We aren’t talking years, we are talking about a matter of months. People of lesser character and strength would have succumbed to despair with half this stress. During this time, I’ve watched Adam try to start a new business, work on getting the real estate moving again, and reach out to help others. We aren’t talking about some lazy “victim-minded” people… these are genuinely good, hard working folks who are walking through an EXTRAORDINARY set of trials.
I know that people have already helped the Freeman’s, as have we. In particular, enough money has been given to keep the most critical element in place: insurance for Kayleigh. I know from personal talks with Adam that this money is almost gone too. Adam would barely even consider letting ME write this blog post because they feel you have done so much already (I had to be very persuasive to get them to consider it). This is FAR from over for them. It was not a one time, short term situation. You can’t name a bill or expense they are not so far behind on that “action” is not being pursued. In the meantime, their precious daughter is lying in the hospital with “no hope” according to the doctors.
No hope? For those of us who believe in our Creator, we know that there IS hope. God could miraculously revive Kayleigh. THAT is hope. God could bring Kayleigh into His presence, if He hasn’t already. THAT is hope.
What we have right now is not a loss of hope, but a family enduring both the crushing stress of losing a child, and the debilitating stress of debt piling up exponentially. There is simply no reason for ME, and YOU, and the tens of thousands of other Christians who frequent this blog to not relieve the one part we CAN relieve: financial stress. We live in a land of PLENTY. Yes, times are a little harder right now, but I doubt many people reading this have anything much less than a comfortable life with plenty of material possessions, entertainment and leisure. I’m NOT about guilt trips. I only remind my Christian brethren of this because sometimes we lose sight of how good we really have it. And I ask you to consider how much YOU would hope and pray for help if you were in the same situation.
The Bible teaches us that if we have two coats, why do we let our brother go cold? If we have water, why do we tell them “God be with you” and not give a cup of water? Prayer is critical and required. GIVING puts prayer into action. There is no need for this precious family and their children to have endure ALL of this suffering. Yes, they will endure the sadness of the probable loss of their child. Can’t avoid that, no way out unless God intervenes. But together WE CAN remove the financial stress, the strain of bill collectors and relentless creditors. Sadly, and we hope it won’t be necessary, we need to remove the stress of how they might have to pay for a funeral.
Friends, as a Christian family, we get to love together, rejoice together, cry together and hang tough together. There is simply no need for the Freeman’s to have to endure the paralyzing stress of both critical illness as well as enough financial stress to cripple most people. One or the other is bad enough. Both? May it never be.
I’m not beating around the bush about my request. With the tens of thousands of people who are visiting this blog, we can all click the DONATE button up there on the right side, and we can almost instantly remove the financial stress so this family can spend possibly the last couple of weeks with their daughter without the overwhelming burden of losing everything they own, and the relentless inquiries from bill collectors. It would be hard for one person to give a hundred thousand, but it’s not hard for 50,000 people to give two dollars, or 10,000 people to give $10 or 1000 people to $100.
I’ve got a daughter with Leukemia. I have seven children. When the financial crisis hit in the Fall of last year, my income was cut IN HALF. But I see a family in greater need, and if we can sacrifice, I know you can too. Our family will lead the way by giving $250 first. It’s not much, but if the rest of you join us, it soon will be.
I’m not one for emotional appeals or begging, never have been. However, this is a case of Christians caring for their own. We should not let our fellow Christians suffer under so much without joining them in their trials. We all have hard times. We all experience stress, and perhaps you are feeling the financial crunch today. I understand that. We are too. But the Freemans are enduring EXTRAORDINARY circumstances, and it is simply to God’s glory that we, as a Christian family, pool our resources together and alleviate some of their burden.
Follow me, as I follow Christ…
UPDATE: Based on some valid incoming comments, I want to say that this post was not meant to imply that those who don't share our Christian faith are incapable or unwilling to care and help. Of course they are. We speak in "Christian terms" because our Christianity saturates our life. We know that people who do not hold to Christianity as their faith are just as capable and willing (sometimes more willing much to our shame) to give and help and care as much as those of us who profess Christianity. Again, I write in Christian vocabulary to our Christian family because that is what we base our life on and we can no more exclude it than we can exclude breathing from our life. It is not in any way meant to make others feel excluded or unwelcome to help the Freeman family. Of course not, but evidently that needed to be clarified. ~ Brent